MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA — Birds of Fire (review)

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA — Birds of Fire album cover Album · 1973 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
'Birds of Fire', the followup to the incredible debut album, is as good, in some ways perhaps better, than 'Inner Mounting Flame', the jazz fusion masterwork. This second album begins with a gong and then we are off with John McLaughlin's relentless inimitable guitar style. Once again the album is fully instrumental with some of the best virtuoso musicianship of the genre. This band virtually wrote the book on jazz fusion and there are nods to the work and influence of Miles Davis, particularly on the track Miles Beyond, paying homage to the landmark album 'Bitches Brew' from the jazz legend.

The music is a fusion of heavy guitar, using jazz metrical patterns, Indian influences and a dash of Celtic thrown into the mix. The music ranges from intense and off kilter with a range of time signatures, to a beautiful and melancholy pathos. That is the same style as the debut album but this time the sound seems more refined and easily accessible to the average jazz fan. It does not feature the absolute best of MO but as a whole it is a tighter package.

Goodman is once again incredible on violin and the keyboards of Hammer feature a range of crescendos and allegros intermixed with the frenetic guitar of John McLaughlin.

Highlights include Birds of Fire, Miles Beyond (Miles Davis), Thousand Island Park, One Word and Sanctuary.

There are other highlights interspersed in the other tracks but it needs to be listened to as a whole to fully appreciate the innovation and ferociously original style of the band. This album is as legendary and highly revered in the jazz world as the debut album, making the band the revolutionary progenitors of jazz fusion.

The CD does not include any bonus feature tracks which is maddening as it is very short for a CD. But it is still a great musical experience and worthy of masterpiece status in jazz collections.

Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Hanamichi - The Final Studio Recordings Avant-Garde Jazz
MASABUMI KIKUCHI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Sound Ancestors Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
MADLIB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Jumping Off The Sun Jazz Related Rock
COLOSSEUM/COLOSSEUM II
Buy this album from MMA partners
We Are RnB
JONATHAN BATISTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
I Need You RnB
JONATHAN BATISTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

The Front Line
KENNY BURRELL
snobb· 2 days ago
Jon Batiste - I NEED YOU
JONATHAN BATISTE
snobb· 2 days ago
Get up off Your Knees
TRIBE
js· 3 days ago
All By Myself
MIKE JONES
js· 3 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us